Monday, January 5, 2009

Beef and vegetable stir fry (p. 476)

I went to my dad's on Sunday. Dad lives about a half-hour west of my mom, conveniently on the interstate that I take home to CO (I drive about 8.5 hours down the same interstate--so boring). Dad had made his own ricotta cheese (it was delicious!) and was planning on making a souffle for dessert. He wanted me to make something out of TJOC for dinner.

We decided to make Beef and vegetable stir fry (p. 476). This title is not entirely accurate for what I made though, since instead of using raw beef steak, I used leftover pork roast.

It is really important to have everything prepped when you make a stir-fry because once you get cooking, it moves FAST.

The first part of the recipe was to mix soy sauce, water, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, and either Chinese rice wine or dry sherry. Cornstarch...I'm always careful with it, otherwise you end up with lumps. (Otherwise known as cornstarch, the bane of Top Chef contestants).

Dad didn't have any Chinese rice wine but he did have Japanese rice wine.

My favorite part of sake?

It has a built in little cap for drinkin' on the go! Just in case you feel a little too classy to drink straight from the bottle but are not in the vicinity of any drinking vessels.

That saucy mix is then poured all over the beef ( this cause, pork).

I have to admit that at this point my stepmother wandered through the kitchen and commented on how good it smelled...and it did smell really good.

I then chopped onions and mushrooms, both of which were called for in the recipe, and bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, which were not called for but were delicious. Those were put to the side.

In another bowl (this is NOT the meal to make if you don't feel like washing dishes!) I mixed garlic, chili oil (now THAT has a kick), and ginger (dad didn't have any fresh ginger so I used powdered).

From this point on, the recipe takes about five minutes. The garlic mixture, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots were briefly fried and then the pork was added (since it was already cooked, it didn't need much).

The wok was then cleaned out. The onion and mushrooms were then cooked for a couple minutes. Everything was added back to the pan and it was finished!

Dad and I with the finished project! People (other than Josh) should be really worried about cooking with me, because I really like these "finished project" pictures :) Dad and I match!

I have to say, it was a really strange meal. (My shirt says "Iceberg, a head" if you are wondering)

Stir-fry, souffle, and a dinner roll. If that's not one of the strangest combinations you've ever seen, I would love to know what was. The stir-fry was really good and got high marks from everyone. It was nice and spicy and I think the pork made it even better. Plus, other than all of the measuring and mixing, it was extremely easy.

The lemon/ricotta souffle!

It was not only beautiful but extremely tasty. I had never had a souffle before and it was light and fluffy. I think the homemade ricotta made it even better! Between the bread and the souffle I learned how to make two of the foods that I terrified me (and still terrify me, but slightly less).

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